We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a PEP Mask?

K.C. Bruning
By
Updated Feb 10, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The positive expiratory pressure (PEP) mask is a piece of equipment used to clear excessive phlegm from airways. It does this by forcing air into the lungs, which helps to make more space for the mucus to move and pushing air up beneath it so that it can be forced out of the body. A PEP mask consists of a breathing mask, which is connected via a tube to a pressure gauge known as the manometer. This pump is modulated by pieces called resistors which are made to provide various levels of pressure. The mask is commonly used by patients who have cystic fibrosis and other similar conditions which impede breathing.

Successful use of the PEP mask depends upon the patient, as this is an entirely self-administered technique. The process consists of strapping the mask over nose and mouth, inhaling, and then exhaling. Pressure from the pump will slightly increase the amount of effort needed to breathe.

The proper position in which to use the mask depends upon the needs of the patient. It can be used in an upright position, with the patient sitting with elbows resting on a hard surface in front of him or her. The patient may also use the mask lying down on his or her side. Each of these positions is meant to provide optimum conditions for drainage of fluid.

It can take a few tries to find the correct PEP mask resistor for a particular patient. A doctor will typically have a patient monitor the manometer for a certain pressure reading. The correct resistor will bring the monitor to the right level, the result of which will be sufficient pressure in the lungs to remove phlegm effectively, but without too much force.

Once the PEP mask has extracted the phlegm, the mucus is then expelled by the patient. After a rest period, the patient will typically continue to use the PEP mask until the airways are entirely free. This routine is usually practiced daily, either for life or until there is no further need to remove phlegm. The process usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Use of the PEP mask does not tend to be a high-risk activity. Usually the most important safety consideration is to keep the equipment clean and in good condition in order to avoid contamination and infection. Care typically consists of washing the mask and tubing by hand with a mild detergent and allowing it to air dry.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including WiseGeek. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.
Discussion Comments
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.